By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Providence Christian Academy Receives National Certification for STEM Education Program
Students from certified PLTW schools may receive college admissions preference, college credit, and scholarships at PLTW affiliate universities

Lilburn, GA – Providence Christian Academy announced that it has received national certification for its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program. This is a rare achievement for a first-year program to attain. Providence added STEM in the fall of 2013 to offer high school students a leading-edge curriculum that requires them to apply creativity, collaboration and problem-solving skills to solve real-world problems. The certification was granted by Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM education programs that offers a rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects.

The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners across the country.

In order to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs approximately 400,000 STEM college graduates annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation, and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.

Ken Hunsberger, high school principal at Providence Christian Academy said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.” As part of the recognition process, a team composed of teachers, staff, students, and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s Engineering program. A site visit by a PLTW trained team followed. PLTW’s team met with Providence teachers, school administrators, counselors, students, and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team (sometimes referred to as an Advisory Council) is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals, and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.

“Providence Christian Academy should be congratulated for demonstrating once again its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are Providence’s students. Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare Providence students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.” Randy Cailor, STEM instructor at Providence, added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to real-world projects, including robotics. Rather than sit passively and listen to a lecture, kids are building, developing, and creating. It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math—fields that they might otherwise never have considered.”

For more information on PLTW, you may also contact Jennifer Cahill at the national office at (317) 669-0871 or jcahill@pltw.org

About the School:
Providence Christian Academy is a unique, mid-sized K-12 interdenominational Christian school in the Atlanta area, offering an accredited program that rivals larger schools, while providing more personal attention and the comfortable fit of a smaller student body. As a parent-sponsored school, Providence Christian Academy is more than an academic institution, but a community of believers, consisting of Christian parents in partnership with Christian educators to help young people develop their God-given gifts and abilities. High standards in academic, athletic, and fine art achievements and spiritual growth have been the hallmarks of Providence for more than 20 years.